Maple trees, red and yellow foliage, warm pumpkin spice everything, scarves galore, leaves crunching like rice crispies under your feet. Itchy turtle necks that someone’s grandma sewed you—fall lovers like us obsess over this stuff. And guess what? There’s a city where you can enjoy all the things that make fall, fall, and more.
That town, my friend, is Stowe, Vermont.
So that’s why we’ll cover the best things to do in Stowe, VT in the fall.
After taking a New England fall road trip three years in a row, I’ve come to love Stowe and its unique things. And we have 20+ of those unique things to talk about here!
So based on my experience, I wrote up this guide you can use while planning your visit to Stowe, especially if you’re a first-timer. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
P.S. You should also read: Complete Guide to Stowe, Vermont in the Fall!
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But first, Is Stowe, Vermont Worth Visiting?
Yes! Stowe, Vermont, is worth visiting, especially in the fall.
In Stowe, you’ll find a unique blend of accessible culture and outdoor activities that are extra special in autumn.
Everyone should visit this Green Mountain town at least once in their lifetime.
Where to Stay in Stowe, VT
This is a bucket list type town, and there are some beautiful resorts!
Check them out:
- Timberholm Inn ($$)—The Timberholm Inn is tucked away in the Stowe mountains. This is the perfect place to get your cabin fix in a cozy environment that’ll put you in the middle of prime fall foliage!
- The Stowehof Hotel ($$)—Staying at The Stowehof will make you feel like you’re in a European country. The views here are spectacular, but the interior is extra special. The beautiful fireplaces and library you can enjoy will be the perfect places to rest after a long day of exploring! Fab location too.
- Green Mountain Inn ($$)—Located in Stowe’s Historic Center is this magical inn with an ornate lobby, romantic rooms, and a heated pool you’ll love! Being in the center of town will put you in the middle of all the action.
#1 Get Your Fill of Apples at Cold Hollow Cider Mill
If you’re a warm apple cider and apple donut kind of folk, you MUST make a stop at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill.
First, this place is SO cute, and second, the cider is the apple of my eye.
They have everything from hard apple cider to cold apple cider to warm apple cider that you can sprinkle some cinnamon on top of.
And, you already know, they have devilishly delicious apple cider donuts waiting for you.
If you get hungry, they have a little restaurant as well.
You can book a tour at Cold Hollow Cider Mill or walk in and walk around/ enjoy the property.
Read Next: Fall Weekend in Vermont
#2 Have a Fall Picnic with a View
If you don’t mind a short hike, you can go up to Sunset Rock in Stowe, VT!
The trail to Sunset Rock is off the historic Stowe village and is about 1.6 miles round trip.
Once at the trailhead, you’ll hike through some of the most beautiful fall foliage-filled forests you’ve ever seen.
Eventually, you’ll be brought up to an overlook where you can see the Stowe Community Church and a birdseye view of Stowe’s Main Street.
When you reach the top of Sunset Rock, you can rest and have yourself a fall picnic. Sunset Rock Trail is easy with a 100ft elevation gain. It should take less than an hour to complete.
#3 Enjoy Fall Foliage on Mount Mansfield
If you’d like a better view of some fall foliage and Mount Mansfield (the highest peak in Vermont), continue on the Sunset Rock Trail to Upper Overlook!
To get to Upper Overlook, you will hike a quarter mile past Sunset Rock. Now, If you don’t like hiking but still want the view, you can park on Taber Hill Road and walk a quarter mile along the Access Road to get to the Upper Overlook.
It’s worth adding it to your list of things to do in Stowe, VT for the views alone!
Read Next: Ultimate Guide to Stowe, VT in the Fall
#4 Take a Fall Horseback Ride
Another great way to explore fall colors in Stowe, VT, is by horseback!
Via the Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vermont, you can book a horseback riding tour. Topnotch Stables offers trail rides through some of Stowe’s most beautiful fall foliage.
If you have family members, this is a great place to take them since everyone can enjoy the experience!
While this doesn’t apply to the fall season, the stable also offers carriage rides visitors can enjoy in the winter.
Regardless of when you go, your best bet for booking a ride is to contact the stable at (802) 798-9769.
#5 Drive to the Summit Ridge of Mt Mansfield
While Sunset Rock and the Overlook will give you a view of Mount Mansfield, you can actually drive to the top of that bad boy!
Drive the Auto Toll Road to get to the Summit Ridge of Mount Mansfield. When you get to the top, you’ll be able to take in views of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain—ooo la la.
This is said to be one of the best views in Stowe!
To access Toll Road, you will need to pay a fee of around $29 (which does not include taxes).
There are also the following vehicle restrictions:
- No trailers, R.V.s, campers, or vans converted to R.V.s
- No dually trucks
- No mopeds or scooters
- No motorcycles
- No bicycles
Toll Road is open daily (weather permitting) from 9:30am to 4:30pm from May 28 to October 17. The entrance is about 4.5 miles from Stowe.
When you reach the gate to begin your drive, an employee may greet you and give instructions for driving the road appropriately, so you don’t burn through your breaks (since the road is so steep).
The road is narrow, so be careful when driving!
After you park your car, you can take a 3-mile round trip hike to the tippy top of the mountain and see more fall colors.
#6 Take a Gondola to the Top of Mount Mansfield
Okay, so maybe driving a dirt road isn’t your jam. Well…
You could always take a gondola ride up Mount Manfield!
This is a much more relaxing way to enjoy the fall foliage views.
To experience the ride, you’ll head to the Gondola Skyride at Stowe Mountain Resort.
It is open daily until October 17 from 10am to 4:15pm. Prices for rides are as follows:
- Adult (ages 13+): $35
- Child (ages 5-12): $24
You can purchase your Gondola Skyride tickets online, which I recommend to make things easier on yourself!
As you ride the gondola, you’ll experience a birdseye view of the beautiful fall foliage, making this one of the best things to do in Stowe, VT in the fall.
#7 Enjoy a Fall Lunch at the Top of Mount Mansfield
Want to hear something cool? When you reach the top of the gondola ride, you can sit down for a nice meal at Cliff House Restaurant, which is the most PERFECT spot to take in the Mt Mansfield views!
However, you must book your Cliff House reservation online to dine at Cliff House.
The menu has “American cuisine with a rustic Vermont flair,” complimented with local craft beer, wine, and cocktails.
The Cliff House menu changes with the season and typically features lite bites like salads, wraps, or sometimes a special BBQ.
Top Tip: This would be the perfect little date if you happen to be celebrating a fall anniversary!
#8 Stroll Stowe’s Main Street (A Must Thing to do in the Fall)
Main Street is where all of the Stowe, VT action is, and it is one of my favorite things to do in Stowe!
This is where you’ll find little boutiques, coffee shops, places to eat, and historic buildings.
I recommend starting your Main Street journey by Laughing Moon Chocolate and then making your way down to Black Cap Coffee.
You can check out the Stowe Community Church or Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum.
#9 Eat Your Fall Heart Out
If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll appreciate all the great places to eat in Stowe, VT. Here are some recommendations:
- Plate—A California-inspired restaurant serving locally sourced dishes and creative craft cocktails. Try the banana pudding, crab cakes, or a seared Faroe Island salmon.
- Harrison’s Restaurant—A Stowe favorite with a rustic interior. Here is where you can enjoy American cuisine with creative twists. Book reservations here.
- Butler’s Pantry—A MUST for breakfast. Enjoy pancakes and a plate of biscuits and gravy.
#10 Check Out the Ben & Jerry’s Factory
Love you some ice cream? Stowe, VT is where you’ll find the original Ben & Jerry’s factory!
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11am to 6pm.
This is where you can take the Factory Experience—a factory tour and see where all the Ben & Jerry’s magic happens.
When you’re done, stop at the gift shop, and duh, the ice cream stand to grab yourself a scoop of your B&J’s faves. Cherry Garcia, anyone?
During my visit, I loved checking out the Flavor Graveyard with flavors that didn’t make the cut—wa wa waaaaaa.
#11 Visit the Trapp Family Lodge
The Trapp Family Lodge is an Austrian-inspired lodge in Stowe, VT. You’ll probably recognize the name if you’re a fan of The Sound of Music.
The Trapps were fictionalized in the musical.
The lodge used to be the home of Baron and Maria Trapp after they escaped nazi Germany.
After Baron’s death, the family expanded the home and made it into a lodge visitors could enjoy.
You can visit this beautiful property or book a room there! Visitors can enjoy the resorts gorgeous outdoor area and food spots.
I recommend grabbing a lager at the von Trapp Brewery!
#12 Have a Spa Day
Stowe, Vermont, is home to some beautiful hotels and resorts offering amazing fall foliage views.
But do you know what else they have? Spas that’ll make you never want to leave.
Guests have access to a beautiful indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, and an outdoor pool with jaw-dropping views of the Green Mountains.
It’s the perfect place to admire foliage after a massage!
#13 Take a Fall Foliage Bike Ride
Stowe, VT is surprisingly bike-friendly!
On a beautiful fall day, you can grab a bike from A.J.’s Ski & Sports, then head to the paved path waiting for you behind the Stowe Community Church.
Stowe Recreation Path runs 5.3 miles and crosses over the Little River.
It’s a beautiful biking trail that carves through the woods, so you’ll be surrounded by trees and golden leaves in autumn.
Mountain biking more your style? Click here to book a Stowe mountain biking tour!
#14 Visit Smuggler’s Notch State Park
Most folks come here to explore Smuggler’s Notch Pass.
Smuggler’s Notch Pass goes through Vermont and has some fantastic New England views!
It’s well-known for its extremely windy road that bobs and weaves through endless fall colors in Vermont’s Green Mountains—don’t skip the drive!
If you want to hike around, check out Hellbrook Trail, Sterling Pond Trail, or Long Trail.
Additionally, you can spend a chill day in nature enjoying one of the Smuggler’s picnic areas.
To learn more about the park, visit VTStateParks.com.
#15 Hop on the Longest Zipline in the Country
In Stowe, you can enjoy one of the longest ziplines in the country: Arbortrek Canopy Adventures.
It’s one of the best things to do in Stowe, VT because you’ll literally be cruising through fall colors in a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
#16 Get Lost in a Corn Maze
If you’re into spoooooooky fall vibes, a corn maze is probably the thing for you.
At Percy Farm Corn Maze, you can spend 30 to 40-minutes exploring an epically giant corn maze in the Green Mountains!
#17 Learn How to Make Maple Syrup
Ever wonder how this magical sugary concoction that dresses all our pancakes and waffles is created?
You can visit the Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm and get alllll the deets.
And DUH, you’ll get to taste some of the maple syrup too!
The Sugar Farm is near the Green Mountains, so the drive there alone will be incredible!
#18 Chase Stowe’s Fall Waterfalls
You can absorb all the negative ions and fall foliage when you visit one of Stowe’s waterfalls.
Moss Glen Falls is one of Vermont’s largest waterfalls at 85 feet high.
To get to the falls, drive to the trailhead and walk a quarter mile—waa la, you’re there.
#19 Take a Scenic Fall Drive Through Mountain Road
Under and over and through the woods to the fall foliage you go! Take a seven-mile drive through the incredibly scenic Stowe Mountain Road.
You’ll get great vantage points for photos along the way, so make sure you stop to take some pics!
#20 Boat Through the Waterbury Reservoir
Head to Umiak’s Waterbury Reservoir at rent a few boats to take out on the water.
At peak fall foliage, you can enjoy an excellent New England fall experience and canoe through this incredibly scenic area while colors of red and gold dance along the shore.
It’s so scenic you’ll never want to leave!
#21 Exchange Ghost Stories with a Lantern Tour
Take a candlelight lantern through Stowe as you explore the city’s history and hear oh-so spooooooooky ghost stories.
The Stowe at Night Lantern Tours run in the fall and are a unique way to learn more about Stowe’s beginnings and the afterlife that run the city at night—BOO.
If you’re looking for spooky things to do in Stowe, this is for you!
#22 Walk Through Gold Brook Covered Bridge
Speaking of ghost stories, if you like haunted sites, you’ll definitely love Stowe’s Gold Brook Covered bridge.
Also known as Emily’s Bridge and Stowe Hollow Bridge, legend has it that Emily haunts the bridge to this day after a tragic story there.
Regardless of whether you believe the legend, this wooden-covered bridge is in a gorgeous forest area, surrounded by incredible foliage and a little creek.
Top Things to do in Stowe, Vermont in the Fall + Map
- Get Your Fill of Apples at Cold Hollow Cider Mill
- Have a Fall Picnic with a View
- Enjoy Fall Foliage on Mount Mansfield
- Take a Fall Horseback Ride
- Drive to the Summit Ridge of Mt Mansfield
- Take a Gondola to the top of Mount Mansfield
- Enjoy a Fall Lunch at the Top of Mount Mansfield
- Stroll Stowe’s Main Street (A Must Thing to do in the Fall)
- Eat Your Fall Heart Out
- Check Out the Ben & Jerry’s Factory
- Visit the Trapp Family Lodge
- Have a Spa Day
- Take a Fall Foliage Bike Ride
- Visit Smuggler’s Notch State Park
- Hop on the Longest Zipline in the Country
- Get Lost in a Corn Maze
- Learn How to Make Maple Syrup
- Chase Stowe’s Fall Waterfalls
- Take a Scenic Fall Drive Through Mountain Road
- Boat Through the Waterbury Reservoir
- Exchange Ghost Stories with a Lantern Tour
- Walk Through Gold Brook Covered Bridge
Wanna see it all? Click here to book an epic Stowe, VT day tour!
If you need a map of things to do, I’ve created one for you below.
Tips for Enjoying Fall Things to do in Stowe, Vermont
Now that you know the best things to do in Stowe, VT, in the fall and beyond, let’s quickly go over some tips for your visit.
Get There Early
Stowe, VT, is a trendy and highly desirable tourist spot.
It’s surrounded by mountains and is the picture-perfect location to enjoy fall. That said, it gets jam-packed in the afternoon!
To enjoy the most out of your trip to Stowe, try to get there in the morning.
Then, aim to spend the entire day exploring.
Split Your Time
I recommend spending one to two full days in Stowe, VT, so you can enjoy everything this unique town offers.
Not to mention, the resorts are beautiful and worth the splurge!
Try to do one more “intensive” activity like a hike, zipline, or horseback ride.
Then, spend the rest of your time driving the mountain roads and checking out Main Street—that’ll give you the overall best experience.
Make a Trip Out of It
When you’re done exploring Stowe, continue on a New England fall road trip!
The New England area is AMAZING for fall, so don’t stop here! I recommend you visit a couple more epic fall locations like:
Read Next: New England Fall Road Trip Itinerary
Head Over to Woodstock, VT
If you think Stowe is exceptional, you’ll also love Woodstock, Vermont.
Woodstock is where you can find more incredible fall foliage and the famous Sleepy Hollow Farm.
Woodstock is about a one-hour drive from Stowe.
Together, a trip to both cities will leave you lusting over Vermont’s fall colors after you go!
Overall, I love Stowe, VT, and it captured my heart every time I explored New England in the fall. I know you’ll love it too.
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